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‘ideological cubism’

Me & B attended a Carlos Amorales film screening in the newly burgeoning and rapidly gentrifying warehouse district in 2015. The film was visually very aesthetic, with formally well-considered frames. The plot and characters were archetypal in feeling, and it was edited to have charming, Nouvelle Vague-ish cinematic effects. Toward the end of the film, Amorales laid out some type of manifesto on ‘ideological cubism’. The term itself seemed laden with the potential for self-parody- like a Woody Allenish spoof on pseudointellectualism in new ‘new wave’ art films. B felt that it was an instance of pseudointellectual grandstanding, or of trying to situate one’s work into some profound pre-existing framework within art history by assigning one’s own work with a grandiose term that takes a leg-up from pre-existing schools of thought, whereas I became fixated on trying to unfold the meaning of the term- some post-postmodern mashup of multiple individual perspectives into a single narrative? If postmodernism laid out art history into a nonlinear space like Indra’s net, ideological cubism would be the ability to see through every facet of every jewel in the net and create a unified ideology, like the eyes of a dragonfly apprehending a flower? If cubism is the synthesis of multiple physical perspectives, then ideological cubism would be the synthesis of multiple ideologies into a unified…(?!). Honestly, it was maddening- not to mention Amorales is Chilean so the movie necessitated subtitles, and certain subtleties were undoubtedly lost in translation. Driving around (weeks later), we were talking and I said I felt like the art scene had chewed me up and spit me out- that I’d tried to make it here and it just didn’t happen. I felt like I wasn’t making it socially or professionally, and I wasn’t sure I was going to stick around. He said ‘maybe it’s cause you understand things like ideological cubism- maybe you intimidate people.’ I knew he was just trying to make me feel better, but maybe teasing me a little bit too for being an apologist for Amorales and his ‘ideological cubism’- not to mention offering a critical perspective on my desire to understand or assimilate the ideas and perspectives of ‘the scene’. Sometimes maintaining a critical distance, and your own individual ideologies in the face of a multiplicity of ideologies, is what makes for a cohesive community of simultaneously working individual artists.

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